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The PJ Tatler

by
David Steinberg

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September 2, 2011 - 7:42 am

As pointed out by Ira Stoll this morning, the most popular article on Yahoo! News currently bears this headline:

“Should the starting salary for a teacher be $60,000?”

This wisdom emanates not from a teachers’ union, although I’m sure it does somewhere, but from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. His logic, which of course is not actually definable as logic:

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan proposed last month that a significant boost in teacher salaries could transform public schools for the better by luring the country’s brightest college graduates into the profession.

“Flaw A: There Is No Money For This” dwarfs the other deficiencies with this plan. Flaw B rests with the false assumption that subpar teachers are the cause of our public schools cranking out ninnies without marketable skills (a profound distinction from our private schools, which crank out ninnies without marketable skills who can quote Richard Hofstadter).

Nevermind that Duncan is explicitly insulting all of the wonderful teachers who understand the necessary salary structure of their chosen profession and do it anyway as not being the best and brightest, although I’m certain they do mind. The most galling concern here is this being the latest example of how the shining lights of leftism always arrive at the same conclusion, all the Ph.Ds and weekend conferences and breakout discussions inevitably arrive at the same conclusion after having falsely identified the same problem: we haven’t been “investing” enough.

Stoll points out the key passage from the article:

The Yahoo! News article reports: “smaller raises of 20 percent or less have been ineffective, and one New York City school that embraced much higher pay has so far underperformed on state tests.” It also says there were certain tradeoffs, like larger class sizes.

No kidding.

David Steinberg is the New York City Editor of PJ Media. Follow his tweets at @DavidSPJM.
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